MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The man accused of stabbing a mother and daughter at a Miami Beach store appeared before a judge Wednesday afternoon.
Joseph Kennett, 63, who police say is homeless, told the judge he’s a disabled Army veteran that suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The judge decided he will remain behind bars with no bond. Earlier, prosecutors said he was released from prison on October 2013 and is on federal supervised release until February 2016. He had previously faced charges for attempted murder and bank robbery.
The women he is accused of stabbing remain in the hospital.
The son and brother of 28-year-old Jennifer Gaal and her mother 45-year-old Blanca Nieves Reyes said his mother is stable and his sister was listed in critical condition.
Miami Beach Police said the mother and daughter were at the Christal Food Store around 1:30 a.m. when the women got into an altercation with Kennett.
A police report said Gaal was upset because she thought Kennett had disrespected her mother and she followed him in to the store.
The fight escalated.
“To punching, the subject knock down the victims in this case,” said Officer Ernesto Rodriguez with Miami Beach Police.
But when the victims tried to defend themselves, police said Kennett pulled out a knife.
“He retrieved some sort of knife or sharp object and stabbed them multiple times in the upper torso,” said Officer Rodriguez.
A Good Samaritan said he did see the altercation but did not want to get involved while he was inside the store. He crossed the street but once he was in the middle of the street he noticed one of the women was injured and he went back to the store to help her.
“I grabbed the lady that was on the floor, applied pressure on her right hand side and she had two really big gashes that were bleeding a lot ,” said Good Samaritan Mariano Flores. “The first thing that came to my head was give me some cold water and she reacted a little bit.”
Rescue crews rushed the women to Ryder Trauma Center with multiple stab wounds.
Following a brief foot chase, the police said they caught up to Kennett who was taken into custody.
“He boarded one of our trolleys we have on the north end of Miami Beach. A witness thankfully was able to follow him safe from a distance on his personal vehicle and contacted police which is how we were able to apprehend him,” said Rodriguez.
A family member said the women did not know Kennett. The motive for the stabbing is still unknown.
Police said Gaal was stabbed three times in the torso and her mother was stabbed once in the chest.
They said the surveillance tape showing the attack is graphic and will not be released.